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How are crews going to function? will it be like "x amount are Engineers, X amount are Scientists, X amount are Medical, X amount are Command or Team Leaders, and X amount are Combat"? Or will it be more RPG like "Crew member A has X in Engineering, X in Science, X in Medicine, X in Leadership, and X in Combat"?

I swear I am done asking questions for a bit now lol.

(Edited 2 times)

No, I'm really happy you asked, because it goes into more depth than I wanted to in the video. (It was already ten minutes long!)

Obviously, some crew members are better at some things, but since the point is to have adventures with the crew, each crew member is a person, not just a set of stats. Maybe you're even having fun, naming them after friends or something.

The way they're managed is important: it forms the heart of the mission system, and it forms the heart of how they interact with each other.

Crews are generally divided into "teams". While each crew member has specific duties to attend to, such as maintaining the engines or staffing the medical bay, they can be put on any team without affecting that. Each team can take on one mission. So if you see an opportunity to scan planet BX9, you not only have to fly the ship to it, you have to assign a number of crew members to the scanning team. If you have other missions, you'll have to decide who to move to what team. Do you pull that geeky politician out of the peace mission? Will you reassign an engineer that was working on upgrading your engines?

Team members all affect how well a mission goes, augmented by the ship's systems and the layout of the ship interior. Basically, if there is any mission-related furniture near their assigned bunk, they will get a bonus. For small ships, that might just be incidental. But for large ships, you could have an engineering team of 80 people and carefully lay out the "engineering section" so that everyone is within a few steps of a maintenance station, toolbox, etc.

Teams are also important for "chunking". Humans aren't so good at keeping track of things when there are very many, which is why households in The Sims tend to stay small. Teams give us an opportunity to make most situations happen within a team. You have a crew of 50? You don't have to remember 49x49 relationships. Instead, you just remember the five engineers, the six politicos, the three medical staff, etc. The game itself will tend towards socializing within teams rather than between teams, so it should be possible to stay comfortably "aware" of even large crews.

ok so here's a thought and another question. A feature that allows customizing the organization of crew Hierarchy. with this of course you'll need a interaction buff debuff system. so like putting a guy in charge of 20 people is not going to be as effective as having him in charge of 6 people divided into 2 teams.

What is the player's interaction going to be in the game? So far it look likes building and flying the ship, as well as mission choosing and desicions.

The player builds (or chooses) the ship, the interior, the crew. The player chooses where to go, what missions to take, who is on which teams, who sleeps where, and you can directly tell crew members to do specific tasks/social things, either for its own sake or to affect a mission/another crew member. There will probably be other things - direct piloting, wandering around the interior of the ship, etc.

This is a bit deeper than it sounds, because there are a lot of conflicts, options, and loops. For example, as three missions progress, a beginner might be faced with a conflict as two of those missions require going two different places to advance/complete them. A more advanced player would see it coming, and allocate teams differently or pay special attention to one team to make it advance a little faster, meaning the two requirements fire at different times and both can be completed. An even more advanced player might choose to give one of those missions to another ship and take a different secondary mission for this ship, one which can be completed by traveling to the same place.

Similarly, secondary missions such as thruster optimization, training, upgrading computers, establishing local connections (both personal and technological) will add more play for high-level players that want to optimize. If you start upgrading your thrusters now, you'll have an extra 30% thrust when you go to land on the planet to finish off the scouting mission, which will make that both easy and fast...


Anyway, that's what I've been thinking. It's still a little nebulous.

so I had another thought on this topic.

Was playing CK2 (crusader kings 2 by paradox), and had something Click when I was looking at my guys character sheet.
http://puu.sh/o1YEL/b706ef2648.jpg
I don't know how to get an image to show with the text so here's the link

So you have the character sheet your guy or gal is the big circle, the the little circle to the right is the significant other, and the really small circle to the bottom left is nobody important to this.
  1. The numbers in the red box are your character's stats
    • your characters Base value in each category (hard number, never changes)
    • The effects of your character's Traits (blue box)
    • the Effects of your character's Focus (lime green box)
    • the results of your characters ambitions
  2. The numbers in the yellow box are your country's stats
    • your character's stats
    • you significant others stats
    • you advisers stat in that field (diplo advisers diplo stat is taken but not his Martial stat, Martial advisors stat is taken but not his diplo stat http://puu.sh/o2064/43724d054a.jpg)
  3. Blue/indigo box is your character's traits http://puu.sh/o20nc/65c79578ff.jpg
    • given through events (you fall off your horse you become injured, or choose and option when dealing with criminals that is considered just you gain the just trait) this trait can be lost or changed
    • or given upon birth (your family line has a "DNA" type that has Quick trait, giving a increase to the char. stats) these traits can not be lost
    • these add soft numbers to the base stats of the character (stat is lost when the trait is lost)
  4. purple circle is the character's education
    • This trait is like the others, But is an educational trait that can increase or decrease or stay the same based on the actions done by the character (Martial education can be scaled up by leading in a lot of battles)
  5. green box is the character's ambition
    • This is a goal to meet like amass wealth, where once the character has 500 gold they get a +1 hard number to there base Stewardship (red box) http://puu.sh/o21m9/ede5727527.jpg
  6. the poorly colored lime green box is the character's focus.
This is not just for the Player all the AI characters have the exact same options and pursue these options. There is also a relationship system between the characters but that would take a ton of explaining to just make sense of it lol.
I am going to leave it open to discussion on how and what could be implemented instead of saying what I think would be cool lol.
(Edited 1 time)

Well, fundamentally the situation is similar in a crew. Each crewmember has specific aptitudes and a few notable friends/lovers/enemies. But there are also a few differences between CK2 and this.

One is that none of the characters are kings. The captain of a starship or even the admiral of a whole fleet isn't a king. It doesn't make sense to simulate random non-player characters on other ships, since their behavior doesn't affect the universe much.

There is a question about the nature of civilization in general. I don't think it makes much sense to even simulate a space nation in this kind of game. Instead, it makes more sense to drive all of this using opportunistic role-filling.

For example, the game rolls up a mission opportunity. You see that there is a medical mission. The type and severity and all of that are algorithmically determined, and then the game simply slots in the major actors, usually people and factions you have met before.

The pirate captain that escaped two months ago is back - not because she was simulated into the scenario, but because she's in our bank of available characters. This time she's one of the ones being affected by the plague, not a villain like she was last time. The affected world is... BX9, a world we scanned a few months ago. Etc, etc.

There is room for some simulation, but it'd be over the course of the mission rather than in the spaces between missions. The pirate captain doesn't really exist unless she's part of a mission. BX9 doesn't exist unless it's part of a mission. I mean, you could go hunt these people and places down, maybe, but they're not being simulated until something like that happens.

How things unfold once the stage is set, that would involve some simulation. There are opportunities in that. For example, the pirate captain is a pirate, even though she's on the planet's side today. That could result in tensions. As you work away at your medical mission, the tension rises and, unless you take on a mission to lower that stress, it could explode as the pirate captain decides to just take over the planet.

But that stuff is still hazy. As actors go, it's important to realize that the "off stage" characters, places, and things are simply gone. They're not simulated at all. Instead, they're just pulled into the missions as slots become available, and some tenuous backstory explaining why is slapped in automatically.

(This also makes sharing them/syncing universe states between players really easy.)

Actually what I meant by AI doing such things would be the crew and only the crew, I guess I should explain how this works in my head lol.

so you have your Captain, he has base stats in each of the fields

you have #2 (like the Wife but ... not the wife... ya, no) he has his base stats, his advice is based on his base stats

then your crew member that is assigned to lead a department (diplomacy, medical, the pew pew is combat so on and so forth)

So it rolls all these guys stats into and overall state that represents the ship's ability on this task

EXAMPLE TIME! :)

you are negotiating a trade pact between two planets, your captains diplomacy stat is 5, #2s is 3, and the Coms officer is 6. you have a total of 14, which affects the chance of a deal or the result of the deal (a lower diplo will make a deal for 1 year of trading with no essential items, while a higher will give a deal that last 5 years with essential materials being traded)

I guess what I am trying to get at is how the stats of the individuals affect the overall ship and the involvement of them in missions.

The traits, ambitions, and Focus type things add some personality to the characters and gives an interesting mechanic to play with to improve the ship's capabilities.

I also get that you are one guy and this is some complicated math things, why I didn't want to go so indepth with it since its not super important compared to the rest of the functions of the game.

Well, you're lumping a few things together that are worth thinking about separately.

If you want to just consider how stats affect the missions in the game, that's pretty cut and dry. The team you create for that mission (which might include your captain and first mate) would be the ones making progress, and it would certainly depend on their stats - in addition to facilities aboard the ship.

Right now, as a prototype, each mission has a number of points required, and a level of difficulty that divides the number of points you try to put into it. Missions frequently also have phases.

If you were going to scan BX9, you might need 30 points at 2 difficulty. Scanning missions require scanning hardware, such as the antennae I've already put into the game. Those antennae create 1 point per day on their own. If you had one antenna, it would take 60 days - each day you'd add 1 / difficulty to the total. At the end of that time, you would move into the next phase, which would probably require landing on the planet and doing more stuff like that down there.

However, that's with minimal attention. If you assign crewmembers to make the most out of the antenna, those specs can change. Right now it's set up so that the antenna will reduce the mission difficulty when manned, so manning it would cut the time down substantially depending on the relevant trait on the crewmember and how many stat-boosting items are near her bunkroom.

In the prototype, contested missions such as negotiations and tracking down enemy ships would have both sides run with the same stats, but inverted. That is, from my side the mission has points and difficulty, and from your side it has difficulty and points. The more progress I make, the higher your difficulty becomes, and visa-versa. Then, when either side reaches a specific number (100?) they win, and it's easy to tell how far ahead they were when determining the outcomes.

I haven't settled on this 100%, and things may change some, but you can see how it works in essence.

(Edited 1 time)

o I see, i think. I am talking about a consistent progression. You finish a mission, and it produces an output and the story goes on. whereas when the mission is complete that is the end of the progression along that story line. the only output is the effect on the crew?

Why would that be? All the outcomes can be easily saved. Characters saved to be seen later; planets altered by whatever happened, saved to be visited later; factions changing their opinions of each other...

Senpi your mighty wisdom is beyond my megaer understanding LOL!

Well, it's all hot air until it's programmed.